The Bengaluru Police registered a case of sedition on Wednesday against former Karnataka Chief Ministers Siddaramaiah and HD Kumaraswamy, along with 23 other Congress and JD(S) politicians and nine police officials for protesting outside the Income Tax Department Office in Bengaluru ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
Based on a complaint filed by A Mallikarjun, who says he is an activist, the Commercial Street Police registered the case and have booked the 29 people under various sections of the IPC. The FIR was registered after the 82nd CCH Court in Bengaluru issued an order for the same on November 22.
Speaking to TNM, the Commercial Street Police said that they have booked Siddaramaiah, HD Kumaraswamy, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President Dinesh Gundu Rao, Korategere MLA Congress Dr G Parameshwara, Kanakapura Congress MLA DK Shivakumar, Krishnaraja Nagar JD(S) MLA Sa Ra Mahesh, Maddur JD(S) MLA DC Thammanna, Mandya JD(S) MLA Shivalinge Gowda, disqualified MLA from Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Munirathna Naidu; and 10 other Congress and JD(S) leaders.
In addition to this, the former Bengaluru Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar, former DCP East Rahul Shadpurwad, former DCP Central Deveraju and six other police officers have been booked as well.
"The complainant had initially approached us and filed a complaint. But we had taken cognisance of the complaint and registered a non-cognisable report. He went to court and got the order on November 22. We are enforcing court orders," the Commercial Street Police said.
A Mallikarjun has alleged in his complaint that the then Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy violated the law by allegedly leaking information to the media about Income Tax raids in Mandya even before the raids occurred. He accused Congress and JD(S) leaders of violating the model code of conduct ahead of the Lok Sabha elections by staging a protest outside the Income Tax Department office in Bengaluru.
"They falsely accused the Income Tax Department of being BJP agents and caused inconvenience to public servants in carrying out their duties. The Bengaluru Police Commissioner and other officers did not take any action against them and were complicit in these seditious activities," Mallikarjun's complaint reads.
On March 27 this year, Congress and JD(S) leaders, including the two former Chief Ministers, staged a protest outside the Income Tax Department office accusing the BJP high command of using the central investigative agencies like the Income Tax Department, CBI and Enforcement Directorate to target opposition leaders.
A day after the protest was staged, Income Tax officials conducted a search and seizure operation at the home of former JD(S) MP from Mandya, CS Puttararaju, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Kumaraswamy later had accused the BJP of using the Income Tax Department to target JD(S) leaders in Mandya as they were campaigning for his son Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who was the Congress-JD(S) coalition's candidate for the constituency.
"The Income Tax Department had informed Kumaraswamy about the raids but he leaked the information to the media and went against the law," Mallikarjun's complaint adds.
The Commercial Street police have registered a case under sections 217 (public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture), 176 (omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it), 121 (waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war against the Government of India), 177 (furnishing false information), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 503 (Criminal intimidation), 414 (assistance in concealment of stolen property), 149 (unlawful assembly), 143 (punishment for unlawful assembly), 505(2) (public mischief), 124A (sedition), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 350 (criminal force), 405 (criminal breach of trust), 417 (cheating), 120(A) (criminal conspiracy), 416 (cheating by personation), 171C (interfering with electoral rights), 119 (public servant concealing design to commit offence), 141 (overawe by criminal force), 142 (being a member of an unlawful assembly), 499 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.